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Jaleel Shaw: The Soundtrack of Things to Come (2013)

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Jaleel Shaw: The Soundtrack of Things to Come How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Jaleel Shaw is one of the fiercest saxophonists to come out of Philadelphia; the city that has produced its share of music luminaries, such as pianist McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
b.1938
piano
and bassist Stanley Clarke
Stanley Clarke
Stanley Clarke
b.1951
bass
. Full of urgency, Jaleel Shaw
Jaleel Shaw
Jaleel Shaw
b.1978
sax, alto
channels his horn through music that's tinged with the sound of blues and gospel, soul music and streetwise hustle, as witnessed in performances with The Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes
b.1926
drums
Quartet or as part of fellow Philly-native pianist Orrin Evans
Orrin Evans
Orrin Evans
b.1975
piano
' energetic Captain Black Big Band and others.

Inspired by works of art and moving personal life experiences The Soundtrack of Things to Come is Shaw's heartfelt music expression through ten original compositions delivered by a strong quartet that has performed together since 2011. Each piece tells its own story beginning with "I Wish I Didn't Know," where Shaw's horn speaks of melancholy and asks probing questions as the band artfully maneuvers the theme's swinging tempo. It's followed by whirlwind changes in "Conclusions," where bassist Boris Kozlov
Boris Kozlov
Boris Kozlov
b.1967
bass
lays down a groovy vamp that's propelled by sizzling drummer Johnathan Blake and fully exploited via passionate solos from Shaw and pianist Lawrence Fields.

Among center of the well-placed ballads and cookers lies "The Wheel of Life," which was inspired by the cloth painting found in New York's Rubin Museum of Art and illustrates the Buddhist doctrine—The Four Truths. Its spiralling turns contain everything from an Irish-like theme, stirring feats of improvisational changes and exhilarating group collaboration. Other notable pieces include the sweet but abrupt groove, called "The Understanding," which features a Robert Glasper
Robert Glasper
Robert Glasper
b.1978
piano
/J-Dilla-esque vibe and the set closer "Faith." The piece unfolds with a serene reverence as Fields perfectly accents chords before Shaw opens the flood gates, his horn fervently preaching the gospel message. It's a fitting conclusion to an enjoyable release.

Track Listing: I Wish I Didn't Know; Conclusions; Ballerina; The Wheel Of Life; The Understanding; Chroma; Sister; Leel's Tune; Song For Sid; Faith.

Personnel: Jaleel Shaw: saxophones; Lawrence Fields: piano; Boris Kozlov: bass; Johnathan Blake: drums.

Record Label: Changu Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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